Before you touch this volume, the design of it makes clear that this is something special.
Residing in a cloth-covered slipcase and having a matching cloth binding, this is no ordinary tome. Everything about
it shouts from several paces off-behold and show reverence. Upon removing the book from the case and opening the
oversized cover to reveal a total spread of 12 x 23 inches, the dramatuic display begins.
Exceptional Match Safes
is more of a presentation than a traditional book. Some twelve pages of text introduce
the volume before it becomes all about the objects-the match safes or vestas as they are called in the UK. These
small containers from the late 1800s and early 1900s were the civilized man's accessory to safely transport the
popular wood or cardboard matches of the day. Two large collections, one in the united States and one in England,
provide many of the examples shown, but we are reminded that members of the International Match Safe Association
shared additional objects for inclusion. While predominately about silver and silver enameled cases, there are
cases of gold, ivory, and other materials illustrated as well.
Gorham, Shreve & Co., Tiffany & Co., and Fabergé, along with a host of others, produced these small pocket masterpieces
that fill the 150 page book. From the nude and naughty to the elegant and figural, these diminutive works of art capture the
spirit and imagery of their time. This exceptionally produced book showcases the match safes that captured that imagery.
If this review seems to chant praise for the book, it is because the book, while nicely captioned and with some limited historical
notes, really is about the beauty of the objects and it well serves this goal.
All together a beautiful volume, it would make a nice addition to any silver library. Noting that it is not designed as a research
book, but as a visual record to proclaim he variety and artistry of these miniatuure creations-if you can add one to your
bookshelf, we suggest you do so.